College News

TU Dublin Societies to Host Sustainable Fashion Show in Aid of St. Vincent de Paul

Fast fashion is a big issue in the world we live in, with online shopping making it easier than ever to purchase clothing on a whim. According to Global Fashion Agenda in 2017, the fashion industry’s impact on climate change will have increased 49% by 2030 if it does not change now. As consumers, we need to become more aware of our shopping habits, and more aware of the necessity of sustainable fashion.

DIT SVP and Arab Societies have organised a Sustainable Fashion Show in aid of St. Vincent de Paul which aims to highlight the need for more environmentally conscious fashion choices.

The show, which will be held in TU Dublin Aungier Street campus on Wednesday, March 27th 2019, promises to “break your old conceptions of what a fashion show can be”. It will embrace “diversity, inclusivity” and differences.

The models will be kitted out in garb from various Saint Vincent de Paul shops around town, and pop-up shops will be available on the night for the audience to fill their wardrobes with anything that catches their eye. All proceeds go to Saint Vincent de Paul.

As well as that, the Arab Society have organised an Arabian greeting at the door, and traditional refreshments will be available throughout the night. Arabian gowns and jewellery will also be showcased.

Luke Toomey of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society is “buzzing” for the show, which he describes as being a “total middle finger to the elitist attitudes of the fashion world”.

DJ Society will provide the music for the show. It will be MC’d by drag performer Avoca Reaction who said they’re looking forward to the evening. They promise to get chatting with the audience and have some fun, while benefiting the worthy cause.

“The night itself I think should be really good fun. There is going to be lots of models and lots of glamour. We’re going to have a great night in aid of Saint Vincent de Paul and to raise awareness about sustainable fashion,” Avoca said.

Toomey stated that three-fifths of our clothes will be thrown away or incinerated within a year after production. “That’s crazy carry on when there are the amenities out there to give away the clothes you’re finished with so they can have another life with a new loving owner,” he said.

Although fashion cannot be 100% sustainable, due to the toll washing clothing takes on the environment, there are many ways that we can become more environmental-friendly when choosing our garments.

One of the greatest ways to support sustainable fashion is buying second-hand clothing from charity shops such as Saint Vincent de Paul. Apps such as Depop have made buying second-hand items more accessible, allowing users to post and sell clothing with the click of a button. Depop also allows users to swap clothing on their app, with both parties getting an item without paying a cent (excluding postage).

The theme of sustainability is one of particular importance to Avoca Reaction, as 99.9% of their outfits in drag are from sustainable sources. Avoca usually buys material from the Fabric Counter in Smithfield, and then designer and friend, Kyle Cheldon Barnett, will “work and weave his magic”. Avoca is also a big fan of hand-me-downs as it not only saves money but also supports a more sustainable fashion source.


Drag performer Avoca Reaction. Credit – Kyle Cheldon Barnett


Avoca identifies as an “alternative drag artist”, which they describe as being a “blessing” to both their pocket and to the environment. This means that they do not wear wigs, which are often made of plastic or perhaps questionably sourced human hair, but rather they complete their “aesthetic” with turbans. They do not buy into traditional trends of other drag performers, for example being sucked into fast fashion and online shopping for things such as make-up, shoes and accessories. Decisions like this are necessary to Avoca.

“It’s very important for me to have to be a conscious performer, to be a conscious artist and that extends the whole way through my drag.”

Sustainable fashion has become a hot topic in recent times, with more and more people becoming aware of the effect that fast fashion has on the planet. Bloggers such as Leanne Woodfull have spoken out about the subject and have made it their mission for 2019 to become more sustainable.

As well as this, multiple organisations have been set up to support sustainability. Fashion Revolution is a global movement that now has an Irish branch. It connects designers, academics, writers, brands, retailers, producers and beyond to promote a fashion industry that cares about “people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure”.

Such movements and influencers are helping to bring sustainable fashion to the forefront. The Sustainable Fashion Show will prove to the audience that clothing can be both fashionable and environmentally kind!

Tickets for the show cost €5 and are available on Eventbrite. The show starts at 6:30 PM on Wednesday 27th March and more information can be found on the SVP Sustainable Fashion Show Facebook page.


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